100 Very Best Restaurants 2014: Proof

No. 8 on this year's list.
Tomato-drenched meatballs with goat-cheese agnolotti at Proof. Photo by Scott Suchman.

Reading the menu in the dark dining room here can be trying, but your server is ready to assist—by proffering a tiny flashlight. And if you think a bathroom ought to be a purely utilitarian space, pre-pare to be taken aback by the black-and-white erotica in the men’s room. But that’s Proof—an uncompromisingly personal restaurant, willing to alienate a little in order to establish its niche as a sensual escape for the discriminating foodie and the serious drinker (the wine list is among the best in the area, and the cocktail menu brims with invention).

Chef Haidar Karoum oversees a menu that branches off into a multitude of styles. In less skilled hands, this might spell disaster, but many dishes—such as foie gras with shortcake or a smoked-eggplant flatbread—are smartly conceived.

Open: Tuesday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday through Monday for dinner.

Don’t miss: Tuna tartare; crispy pig’s head; meatballs with goat-cheese agnolotti; trout with potato confit; cavatelli with lamb Bolognese; almond cake; grilled banana with coconut sorbet.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.